Oregon, Day 3: Waterfall Adventure

Today we went to Tumalo Falls!!!

The walk there was soooo BEAUTIFUL, but soooo LONG.

(7 MILES IN TOTAL!)

My dad accidentally led our friends’ parents to believe that this was a 25 minute walk. . .

We were gone for 3 HOURS!

And, poor ZACH!!!

He only got about a hundred yards in the wheelchair before we realized it was going to be too hard to push him through the snow. πŸ˜₯

But, Zach was being a good sport about everything. 😁

So, he and my mom stayed behind in the car and waited for us to get back. . .

I felt SOOOO bad because I wanted him to get to experience all the beauty too!

. . . But, I helped redeem the day by begging our parents to take us to Chick-fil-A for milkshakes!

Here’s the boys’ reaction when they found out we were going to get the shakes. . .

They are such a mess! But I love them for their quirks! 🀣

We just got our shakes before heading home to make some dinner and chill out.

Everybody is TIRED, and I’m sure we’re going to be sore in the morning. 😊😏😫

It was a good day. . .

I feel like God in Genesis 1 when it says, “And he created day and night, and it was good.” 😊

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll get some rest. 😁😍

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 2: SponTUNEous

Hi y’all!

So today we just chilled for the most part. . . But, we played this game called SponTUNEous!

So it’s kind of like a verbal form of charades.

You start off by naming a word. Let’s use “eye” for an example.

So, I would say “eye” and everyone else had 15 seconds to sing 5 words of a song that include the word “eye.”

And when there’s a tie you battle out with insanely crazy words like “Polaroid” or “often.”

The first person to sing 5 words wins the ability to roll the dice!

They then roll two dice and advance that number of spaces on the board. But, there are spaces where you’ll draw a card with crazy challenges on them.

Sounds simple enough, right? πŸ™„

Well, if you happen to get the word “often,” can you name a song off the top of your head with “often” in it???

Yeah, neither did we.

But, if you think back carefully, you’ll remember that Arabian Nights from Aladdin has a lyric with “often” in it.

Remember. . .

“Arabian nights, like Arabian days. . . More often than not are hotter than hot in a lot of good ways. . .”

It was so much fun. . . Except for the fact that I don’t actually listen to music, so it was REALLY difficult for me.

I was ALWAYS last place. 😊

I just listen to Disney songs and Christian music, so I couldn’t name ANY songs with words that my parents and friends were using.

And, on top of that, I can’t sing, and they all CAN, so they kept expecting me to sing the lyrics when I would chime in.

The thing is, the game is actually marketed as a “no talent required” game, so I technically didn’t have to sing the lyrics but I felt bad just because they can sing great and I can’t.

Anyway, I shouldn’t let it bother me. And, I typically won’t let it bother me, but when they bring up the fact that I don’t or won’t sing the lyrics, it kind of crushes a piece of my heart inside.

But, it’s okay! I know it’s not my talent and that’s okay!!! πŸ˜€

It was a good day today, though. . .😁

I’m going to be sad when they have to leave, but it’s okay!

Because we’ll see them in a month and a half after they leave!!!

They are the reason we’re going to Texas in January. . . At least part of the reason. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

I cant wait for tomorrow’s events!

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Oregon, Day 1: Snow Park

So, today was the first day I got to spend with my family that flew here all the way from Texas just to visit us!!!

We had a BLAST!

We had a snowball fight, went sledding, took a slight tour of the forest, and visited with friends while eating good food!

It’s hard, though, because my best friend doesn’t want to share me with his brothers and sister.

And, I want to spend time with ALL of them.

And, poor Zach can’t do much with his knee, so I want to make sure that I spend time with him too, so he’s not alone. . .

It’s complicated.

But, what’s even more complicated is that Zach is my childhood crush ever since we were in kindergarten.

What’s even MORE complicated is that I started to like his younger brother, who is my best friend, but after I revealed something I shouldn’t have, he kind of let me go and I let him go.

And, Zach. . .

He’s just amazing. I haven’t really gotten to talk to him in the past 4 years, but so far we’ve talked a lot since they got here yesterday. . .

And, he’s a great guy, a little immature, but still a great kid. 😊

Anyway, we had fun today at the snow park and chilling by our fire pit!

I’ll update y’all on tomorrow’s events!

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

BEST GIFT EVER!

So, I know I’ve written a LOT in the past 24 hours, but I need to make another post before I go to bed tonight/this morning. . .

Our parents had been acting suspicious all week, but I just assumed that our grandparents were coming to visit us because that is what they led us to believe.

How I was wrong!!!

So, my sisters tried to figure out the big secret because they weren’t convinced that our grandparents were coming to visit us.

I knew someone was coming, but I didn’t know who. And, because I had been going along with my parents every wish for the past 2 weeks, my parents just assumed that I knew who was coming. . .

But, I didn’t.

And, I knew that if I didn’t look into what my parents were trying to keep from me, I would have a much more enjoyable experience when it came time for the surprise to be revealed.

One thing led to another and my dad was leaving the house because the alarms at his work were going off which led to us watching The Notebook with our mom which led to my dad coming home with our guests. . .

And, I cried. 😁

Because they happened to be my best friends!!!

I had NO idea. . .

(By the way, this is the same family that Zach belongs too! You know, the friend that literally just had KNEE SURGERY!!!)

. . .We’re not related to each other at all, but we refer to each other’s parents as “uncle” and “aunt.” We’re THAT close.

They are family to me, and they always will be. 😊

IT WAS THE BEST SURPRISE EVER!

And that folks if why you NEVER try to look into your parents’ suspicious behavior because it could end up being the best gift you will ever be given!!!

Thank you Mom and Dad! I know you made this possible and I am ETERNALLY grateful!!!

I’ll post pics as we have adventures for the next 10 days!

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Good Grief!!!

Oh, no!

What have I done?!

So. . .

I don’t know what I did or how it happened, but. . .

So, hypothetically, if some guy liked you, but you don’t like him like THAT, what would you do???

Because, I showed up to church today and this kid kept hugging me!

And, he has NEVER done that before, like NEVER.

He came to the same Bible study as me this Thursday and kept sitting beside me, saying, “You looked sad so I thought I’d keep you company.” That’s when I first noticed his behavior.

Again, after all the hugs today, he sat beside me when we were chatting in a group with some adults.

GUYS!!! This is a twelve-year-old!

I’m SEVENTEEN!

And, I could see myself dating someone who is 22 or 23 (a five year difference).

But, it’s different and weird if a 12 year-old likes me.

And, the thing is, he’s a sweet kid, so I don’t want to hurt him. . .

We have the same problem with this girl at my church, but she targets older men, like WAY older. And, I know this kid is only five years younger and not twenty years younger than me, but it’s still inappropriate for him to be doing that to me (hugging me over and over, I mean) with our age difference.

I can understand the girls at my church hugging me and even the younger kids, boy or girl, but I can’t allow him to keep doing this. . .

It’s not fair to him or to me.

But, I don’t know what to do, because this kid used to be serious, and now he’s loosened up and has become this free spirited boy. . .

I don’t want to hurt him and forever scar him because I rejected him . .

And, I’ll admit that I intentionally reached out to him several months ago because I just wanted him to feel like he had someone he could vent to, someone to come to since he’s from a broken family.

So. . . I’ll quit texting him. But, I only really do that on Wednesday nights to see if his mom remembered we had youth. We don’t text other than that.

And, about the hugs. . . I guess I won’t hug him back until he gets a hint or until it becomes a problem.

I honest to goodness didn’t expect THIS to happen!

I love the kids at my church; they’re like younger siblings to me and I would never intentionally try to hurt one of them. That’s why this is such a delicate matter. . .

Any suggestions???

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

My Purge. . .

Hey guys!

I know I’ve been radio silent for the past two days; y’all know that isn’t usual for me. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜

But there was a reason for my pause in posts. . .

You see, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to fast from not only food, but also from technology for two days.

So, on Wednesday night at 5:30, I started my fast.

No laptop.

No phone.

No food.

There were only three exceptions to my 48 hours of cleansing.

  1. I needed my phone to use as an alarm in the mornings because I’m a heavy sleeper.
  2. I needed to use my laptop to turn in school assignments that were due.
  3. And, at the 24 hour mark, I could drink a half cup of a smoothie of some kind.

I have fasted MANY times before in my life, whether it was to lose weight, to follow a Biblical command, or to intercede for a special person.

Needless to say, I wasn’t too worried about the food part of my fast, but I thought it would be easier to give up my tech than to give up my food.

Oh, how I was wrong! πŸ˜†

My technology fast. . .

GEESH! I didn’t think it would be hard because I’m not attached to my phone like my little sister is.

You can ask my family; I NEVER have my phone on me.

However, all throughout the fast, I would want to do little things that I wouldn’t necessarily consider apart of technology, such as depositing a check through my bank’s app, or editing my novel on a program only installed on my laptop.

It kept killing me how I couldn’t perform insignificant tasks such as listening to music or checking my email or playing a video game with my sister.

It was rough, but not impossible.

To make it so that I couldn’t “cheat” during the fast, I also forbade myself from sleeping throughout the day so that I couldn’t sleep through the fast. I wanted myself to actually experience the full effect of ditching technology and food for 48 hours. . .

I think it was worth it because I was able to understand where I stand in life.

At that moment, I would rather give up food than technology, and that shouldn’t be the case. This “challenge,” this test told me that I need to change my priorities in life.

And, it wasn’t that I was trying to binge watch a TV series or anything extreme; I just constantly wanted to get on the internet to get answers or write stories or stalk people on Facebook. πŸ˜‚ Those all require using technology believe it or not.

And, I was addicted to tech; not to the point of trying to cheat during my fast, but I definitely had my moments where I would think about just looking up something real quick.

It’s tests like these that prove what kind of people we are, and what we truly value in life. And for me, that was tech over food.

I don’t think I ever fully realized that until yesterday. πŸ˜₯

Speaking of yesterday. . .

(I’m turning this post in a different direction now. 😊)

Yesterday marked a momentous occasion for me.

It’s not something big, but it is significant enough in my life that it’s worth celebrating with a Dutch Bros. chocolate milk shake. 😁😏

Yesterday, I reached the target weight I had hoped to be at this month.

So, within the last six monthsβ€”since my mom was diagnosed with cancerβ€”I have lost 20 pounds!

I know that may not sound like a lot, but according to research you’re supposed to lose weight at an average pace of 1-2 pounds per week. I lost 8 pounds in five months, and in the past month I lost the other 12 pounds. . .

(I don’t want this post to sound like I’m body shaming myself or over weight people, but I need to write this post as if to have closure about all the anxiety I’ve had in the past about being over weight.)

And, honestly, no one in my family can tell that I’ve lost weight because they’re so used to how I look now, but here’s a comparison for y’all who didn’t know me in June:

Me @ 165 lbs. . .

I HATED taking pictures because of the way I looked!

Me @ 145 lbs. . .

(The first picture is from today!)

It may just be me, but I look like a COMPLETELY different person!

I know I’m supposed to love myself for who I am, but I also know that I should take care of the body God gave me. . .

(I also know there are filters on so that you can see reindeer antlers, but just look at the shape of my face and smile, or even the bags under my eyes!)

Just by looking at my face, you can tell that I’ve lost weight, and I plan on continuing to maintain my healthier lifestyle from now on; I don’t EVER want to gain weight from neglecting my body.

Again, this post isn’t meant to body shame myself or anyone else! It’s meant to encourage others, because if I can put the effort into myself to lose weightβ€”trust meβ€”anyone can!!!

I am not a person who openly admits that I need help or I’m over weight or I eat too much or I eat unhealthy! I keep my insecurities to myself 😣☹ But, I’m learning how to not only deal with my insecurities, but also how to conquer them!!! πŸ€—

I hope my “purge” results help inspire you to figure out what is important to you in life! And, I hope my diet/exercise results help inspire y’all to shoot for the stars!

Never let doubt keep you from doing the impossible!

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

LOCKDOWN

Today marks the beginning of our “re-lockdown” for Oregon. . .

Yep.

Hooray. πŸ™„

So, Monday, my sisters and I went ice skating because it was our only chance to do so before the lockdown began again. . .

Ummm. . . I don’t really like ice skating, and before now, I had an excuse to never have to actually skate with them, but now I don’t.

I used to have a problem with the support in the arch of my left foot. It used to KILL me anytime we went hiking so I finally got it checked out and apparently, I have high arches or something so I got some special shoes with inserts for hiking and I was good to go. . . But, then it started hurting again, like to the point that it caused EXCRUIATING pain.

Eventually, we went to Bethel Church in Redding, California for a healing conference where I was healed of the pain. (I think that was in February of 2019.)

Here’s us praying over the Russian people sitting in front of us at the conference. . .

Anyway, now that I’m healed. . . I can’t fall back on my foot as an excuse to get out of things.

So, I had to do it. I had to go ice skating.

No joke, as soon as I got on the rink, nightmares of my fingers getting slashed by my ice skates after falling flooded my head.

I tried to just pay my mom back for the price to skate but she wouldn’t let me, so I had to tough it out.

The first half hour was so scary for me. I wouldn’t let go of the side of the rink and nearly passed out and my knees kept locking and caving in on me.

Then I tightened my skates and decided to test the waters a bit. I did okay, but every time my sisters would come near me to “cheer me on,” I would nearly fall, and I suddenly couldn’t breathe! (I think that part was in my head, though.)

I know they were just trying to help, but I still got so frustrated with them.

When I was alone, I felt like no one was judging me, but when I heard familiar voices I kept thinking that I looked like an idiot!

I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it still did. . .

Here’s me that morning, before we went ice skating. . .

Notice how I look HAPPY in the snow, and how my hair is perfect. . .

Here’s after. . .

I know it’s hard to tell because we are all so “photogenic,” but notice how my mask is falling from fatigue and how my hair’s part is no longer existent and how my hair is drenched in SWEAT from wearing too many layers.

Which reminds me. . .

ATTENTION!

This Is A Public Announcement!

We are currently on the look out for a boy about eighteen who ice skates, wears a grey beanie, a grey sweatshirt and brown flannel, has light brown hair, has a little sister, and whose dad drives a silver truck. . . He was cute and kept looking at Alyssa the entire time we were there skating.

And no, I do not know what his name is or who he was. . . But, Alyssa is VERY interested in meeting this kid again, so PLEASE let us know if you find a boy matching this description!

Thank You For Your Time.

~ The Higgins Sisters

Anyway. . .

Now, here are the side effects/consequences for going ice skating. . .

Yes, I took this picture in the bathroom, and that IS toilet paper in the background. 😊

I know it may not look like much, but when those cuts and blisters weren’t healed over, they were hurting like FIRE anytime they rubbed up against something! They kept me up all night!!!

Ugh. ☹

But, after I got over the anxiety and sweat and hyperventilation, I was okay.

I actually enjoyed myself!

I got to watch cute guys skate for an hour and a half!

Anyway, I hope this brightens your day!

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

Living in the Past

So, most people don’t know this about me. In fact, no one other than my parents and sisters know this. . .

Remember when I mention our trip to Texas?

So, that is happening in January and we’re in November at the moment, and I have packed my suit case already!

Yeah, last year, I packed FIVE months in advance, but then two days before I was leaving on that trip, I had rewash all of the wrinkled clothes. πŸ™„

So, I bought a new backpack to take with me on the plane because my old one is too small to pack anything in it. . .

It’s a laptop backpack, I think? (The old one.)

Anyway, I’m from the south, and there’s a brand of backpacks and bags and wallets that’s is SUPER popular in the south.

It’s called Vera Bradley.

They have super cute backpacks for girls and you can get them cheap on Amazon Prime Day.

But, they are SUPER expensive for a backpack because it’s a name brand, I guess. Just check it out and you’ll know what I’m talking about. . .

So, since our trip isn’t for several months, I don’t know exactly what I should pack and since I’ve lived in Oregon for so long, I don’t remember what we wear in Texas during January. . .

It’s weird.

It’s like all of my memories are from Texas or Missouri, but I don’t remember what everyday life was like. . .

Remember Inside Out?

You know that Disney movie with the emotions controlling the young teenage girl, Rylie?

In that movie, they depicted little workers throwing away old memories once they fade from thought.

I have my core memories, but the others have just vanished.

Which could be a good thing since I have no bad memories of anyone. πŸ˜†

I used to waller in the past, but now I find myself living each day, one day at a time. I’m not necessarily concerned at what I could’ve done; I’m more concerned at what I can do, if that makes sense?

I’m looking to my future, living in the present.

Instead of, living in the past 24/7.

It’s a good thing, I guess, but also frightening at the same time. 😬

But as I’ve said before, maybe I am supposed to move on and live the life I have instead of the life I once had. . .

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

PUSH, DON’T TWIST!

GUYS!

Okay, so last night my sister begged my parents to allow me to borrow their car to go to the little grocery store near our house.

She wanted me to get some Kombucha for her.

If you don’t know what Kombucha is because you don’t live in the Northern United States, it’s fermented tea that’s bitter and smells DISGUSTING!

And, yes, I have never tried it before. πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‹

Anyway, after about two hours of my older sister begging my parents, my little sister needed to go to the store to get chocolate chips for some cookies she wanted to make for my mom. . .

So, we ended up going. 😁

Now, this was at seven o’clock at night, which means that it’s pitch black outside, and there’s a foot of snow on the ground because we are now in winter!

And mind you, I have only driven at night three other times before this and none of them were during the snow season. . .

(Oh, and I haven’t gotten my license yet, so I’m still a relatively new driver and need an adult with me at all times.)

Now that I’ve said all that, let me tell you about how that driving session went.

Okay, so first thing is first.

I backed out of our driveway, making sure I didn’t turn too early because we have a mountain of snow that the snow plow left behind, lining the edge of our driveway. If I turned too soon I’d hit the snow and get stuck.

But, I made it out okay.

Then, I had to get onto the road and turn on my brights. . .

Ummm. . . I have only driven in the dark a handful of times, and I literally can’t tell you how to turn the headlights on. And, my dad was going to make sure I knew how to do it, so he kept my making me switch between the high beams and the normal headlights.

But, as I learned last night, there’s a difference between twisting the left multi function controller (which is the handle next to the left side of the steering wheel) and pushing it.

Because, instead of turning my headlights on and off, I kept turning my blinkers on and the I couldn’t figure out how to turn the headlights back on.

So. . .

At one point we were LITERALLY in the middle of a road with no headlights on with a car approaching us, and I was freaking out!

“No, I can’t do this!” I kept repeating over and over to myself.

“Yes, you can. Listen to me, Grace. PUSH IT! Don’t TWIST; PUSH,” my dad kept saying to me. . .

Needless to say we got the Kombucha and I figured out how to turn the high beams on without turning the headlights off!

I’m SO glad my mom wasn’t with me because she would have been freaking out, stressing me out even more!

Anyway, we made it back home a half hour later, safe and sound. . . For the most part. 😊🀣

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

Sayonara Journal #19

It has come to my attention that my post from yesterday may have been too “bold” for some of my viewers, so I thought about protecting it with a password, but I decided against it because if those viewers find out, it may not be too bad. My blog should be a safe place for me. . .

Anyway, last night I finished/completed another one of my journals. . . πŸ˜₯

It’s always kind of sad when I do so because I feel like I’ve completed another chapter in my life, as if my life has been shortened now that I have filled up an entire journal with months worth of work and dedication and characters and story plots.

That’s why I always have a backup so that when finish a journal, I have another to immediately start, so that I don’t lose the motivation to write. . .

It’s funnyβ€”I used to insist upon myself that everything be orderly in my journals, that everything be perfect, but now my favorite journals are the ones that I wrote freely in, drew whatever I wanted with no restrictions, brainstormed ideas for new plots.

(Gem Graceson was the pen name I was debating on using. . . And, I have a series that is very spiritual based, so that’s why Lucifer is mentioned! The crazy man page was an article I was writing for another novel. I just love the randomness my journal contains!!!)

Anyway. . .

So, I’m in the middle of writing this novelβ€”which is the sequel to anotherβ€”where a former slave, who is now Queen, is dealing with the trials her uncle is setting before her.

He wants to completely transform her appearance, and does so to the extent that even her closest friends can’t recognize her. He calls her fat because she has gained a significant amount of weight in the past three months and forces her to wear a corset. He strips her of her long hair and the natural waves that make her so beautiful; he cuts it, permanently flattening her hair. . .

I’m eight chapters in (about a 1/3 of the way), and I’ve just revealed this secret I’ve kept from the reader from the very beginning.

Honestly, it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve done, keeping a secret plot twist from the reader so that it makes a WONDERFUL surprise! (Other writers can appreciate this. 😁)

So, this Queen has been pregnant for four months, without telling her family and friends, except for her most trusted friend, who helps her work through all her hormonal swings and emotional outbursts, all the while her uncle is abusing her mentally for almost a year.

I know it sounds twisted, but there is a point in all of the uncle’s disgusting actions; he will be redeemed eventually, but he has to have all of his baggage out in the open before he can be delivered. . .

Anyway, I need names for new characters that will be coming up in the next 16 chapters!

If you have ANY suggestions, comment down below!

I’d really appreciate it because my family is sick and tired of listening to me ramble on about the plot lines of my novels.

Stay tuned for my next post. . .

Love,

Grace πŸ’œ

Check out My Novels page to help support me and my career as a writer!

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